Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
By now, Republican attacks on public workers have crescendoed from a drumbeat to a steady drone. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decries firefighters and police officers as "greedy," Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks about the need to "break the back of organized labor in the schools," and GOP lawmakers in Congress fall over themselves to attack federal employees.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nifty chart showing the huge impact of tax expenditures -- credits, loop holes, write-offs, etc. -- on the federal budget. Short story: In terms of overall spending, tax expenditures dwarf virtually everything else, including major entitlement programs:
As far as the immediate short-term is concerned, union-busting has not been good for the popularity of Republican governors. According to the most recent polling, Wisconsin's Scott Walker has an approval rating of 43 percent, while Ohio's John Kasich has tanked with an approval rating of 35 percent. Neither governor enjoys majority (or even plurality) support from independents, and both rely on heavy Republican support to buoy their approval ratings.
If this New York Timesprofile is any indication, the Tim Pawlenty of 2011 is intensely focused on positioning himself as a Tea Partier, religious conservative, military hawk, and all-around generic Republican:
“I want to be every person’s candidate — that’s my goal,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “The notion that you can’t do more than one thing at a time, I think, is a flawed premise.”
Given the pervasive belief in American military power as the solution for every problem -- and the enduring allure of humanitarian interventions -- it's no surprise to see establishment liberals join the chorus for using force against Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi. Jonathan Chait's rationale is typical of the liberal case so far: